One more reason to eat chocolate

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Here is some good news. A recent study has proven that chocolate is good for your skin.

I got this exciting information courtesy of Dr. Will Clower’s blog Mediterranean Wellness. There is, however, a stipulation. The chocolate must be the really dark kind with a high cocoa content. This type of chocolate helped protect skin from UV radiation.

The dark chocolate apparently increases circulation in the top layer of skin. It also is high in antioxidants, similar to green tea. Both of these properties protect skin.

Dr. Clower has long been a proponent of dark chocolate’s ability to help your heart and your mind. Better yet, he has written a book entitled Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight: New Science Proves You Should Eat Chocolate Every Day.  I encourage you to check out his other books.

What’s your favoirt chocolate brand?

 

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Being in the moment at Winn-Dixie

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I am starting to develop a fear of Winn-Dixie.

I went grocery shopping yesterday and already had all my items on the conveyor belt when a problem developed. The cash register crumpled the check of the woman in line in front of me but refused to complete the transaction. The cashier tried to smooth the check and re-insert it a couple times before calling for assistance.

An assistant manager type woman came over and opened the machine. She removed the ink cartridge and went in search of a replacement. The first one she found wasn’t the right size or was for a different machine. Then she brought a second one. Success!

The woman in front of me apologized repeatedly, poor thing. It wasn’t her fault, and I tried, really I did, to keep a sour expression off my face.

On a grocery run last week, the cashier was a young, long-haired man (that description makes me sound like an old fogey, doesn’t it?) who was having a prolonged conversation with the woman in front of me. Mea culpa-I wasn’t watching as he rang up my groceries, so I was startled to see the total was more than $90. And I hadn’t even bought meat!

The youngster was befudded when I told him something was wrong. When I looked at the printed receipt, there were several items I hadn’t bought. Apparently, they were the groceries of the woman ahead of me with whom the kid was so busy talking that he hadn’t included all of her items.

Same assistant manager to the rescue. We ended up backing out the entire incorrect total  from my credit card and re-ringing the actual items I had in my cart. The resulting total this time was about half of the first one.

I guess I really have to be more vigilant in watching what the cashiers are doing. The Winn-Dixie is the only grocery on my little island.

Have you had similar problems at your grocert store?

 

Weekend fun

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Big doings on my little island this weekend. Friday night, my husband and I went to the VFW for pizza night. We got a supreme pizza for only $9, ate half of it there, and brought the rest home to freeze for another day.

Yesterday, back to the “V” as we call it. They held the first round of a karaoke contest. Apparently, this is something that goes on every year with a national final near Las Vegas. I had never heard of it before. This is the first  year anyone has had it locally. There are two more preliminaries next week and the week after. I am trying to gather enough nerve to enter. Even though I’ve sung my whole life in choruses, I’ve only done karaoke once in my life. Singing alone is a far cry from singing with 50 or 60 others.

Today, the Moose Lodge is holding a cooking contest: soups and stews. I entered last year but not this time. Desserts are in a couple weeks and comfort food two weeks later. Ethnic foods come next and chili is the last contest. I’m leaning toward entering the ethnic contest. I have a pierogie casserole I want to try.

How did you spend the weekend?

Happy Father’s Day

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My husband and I went to the local Moose Lodge for brunch this morning. If you’ve read my books, you know the fictional town of Calusa has a lodge too.

The real life Moose  has some great volunteer chefs who usually do a great job with holidays. Since there are just the two of us, it is far easier to let them do the cooking.

But this morning they were off kilter. We waited more than half an hour, and the ladies, bless their hearts, were still milling around bringing out food.

We finally gave up and went to the small diner that is in the little strip mall next to the grocery store. We managed to get there before the after-church crowd and got served right away.

After inhaling a plateful of bacon, eggs, potatoes, a biscuit, and about a gallon of coffee, I was glad we ended up there.

How did you celebrate today?

Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day is always difficult for me. I lost my mom many years ago and of course miss her still. Above is a work in progress as I experiment with acrylics. I am using an old photo of my mom, on the left, and her life long best friend, Tootsie, as a reference. They grew up in rural West Virginia. The photo was taken when they were teenagers.

My mom subsequently moved to Pittsburgh where she lived for the rest of her life. Tootsie married an insurance executive and lived in Chicago for a while. Eventually, she and her husband ended up in Georgia. They came to visit us a few times over the years and never failed to send a Christmas present.

After Tootsie passed, her husband became a novelist. Below is one of his books. The heroine was obviously based on his beloved wife.

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If you are lucky enough to have your mom with you today, give her a big hug.

Book signing

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I’ll be one of seven local SW Florida authors signing our books today.

Book signings are a bit of a gamble. You never know how many people will show up and if they’ll be interested in your books. While I’m there, I hope to get the email addresses of lots of people to add to my newsletter list.

If you live in the area, I’d love to meet you.

You should be dancing

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Have you ever taken a Zumba class? Isabella “Izzie” Ramos, the heroine of the third book on my Calusa Town Tales Island Dream, is a zumba teacher.

I’ve taken two different Zumba classes. The first was at a gym. The teacher was young and extremely energetic. I went twice a week for a while but came home exhausted, dripping with sweat. When I caught a cold, I stopped attending and never went back.

The second “class” (really just a group of women with a DVD similar to this one) was far too easy. I barely had to exert myself. That one didn’t last long.

Some years ago, I used to go to Jazzercise classes. They were by far my favorite. Now, living on an island as I do, I can’t find a class close enough to go to. The nearest one is at least a 45 minute drive. I need the exercise, but not that much.

How about you? What is your favorite form of exercise? Do you participate in Zumba?

If you’d like weekly information about clean romances, please consider signing up for my newsletter. Email me at Fran@RusticatingintheTropics.com and I will send you a link to “Girls of the Month,” a short story I wrote based on my experiences dancing with Calendar Girls Florida.

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